“How do I avoid a lawsuit after I terminate an employee?”
Many employers have staff members that they know are not helping their business, but they continue to employ these individuals because they are afraid of becoming involved in a costly lawsuit regarding wrongful termination.
At BARE International we conduct mystery customer research to evaluate different components of a business, such as employees, to better understand the customer’s experience. These 4 steps will provide the best practices for holding the employee accountable, giving the customer a positive experience, and for ensuring that the employer will not be caught up in this type of sticky situation.
This is where you, the employer, identify exactly what needs to be documented. Facts are always objective and never contain any sort of emotion or personal opinion.
For example, it would not be sufficient for an employer to say, “They were always late”. However, if they employer could show documentation that indicated the employee’s delayed arrival to work by at least 15 minutes three times a week, then they could objectively and clearly state that the employee was regularly late to work.
2. Expectations for Change
It is incredibly important that some type of documentation be given to the employee to ensure that they are aware of what is expected of them in the workplace.
An employee handbook or any kind of written memo will aid in holding the employee accountable for their actions. Without this element, a staff member could easily claim that they had no idea that they were expected to be on time each and everyday for work.
Do not assume that anything is just common sense, and make sure to get it all in writing just to be on the safe side.
3. Strategy for Change
If bad behaviors are exhibited from an employee, make sure that they become aware of this behavior and provide them with an opportunity to change it.
Performance evaluations should be completed at least once a year to ensure that the staff is kept up to speed on how well they are or are not accomplishing their goals at work.
Specific outcomes to bad behavior of an employee must be established. Whether it is a written warning, suspension, or termination, there has to be an objective system in place to deal with negative actions taken by the employee. It must be clearly understood that there is one simple key to solving this problem: documentation. Lengthy records of performance will be the definitive factor in the courtroom when it comes to proving that an employee was let go due to their own failures in the workplace.
Keeping track of an employee’s incidents, yearly evaluations, and personal memos regarding the company’s expectations of their staff are all necessary to secure a victory in court or even to prevent the situation from escalating to that point at all.
BARE International’s Employee Commitment Toolkit includes workshops, mystery visits, commitment surveys and in-depth face to face interviews to determine employee satisfaction and level of motivation towards your company by using immediate feedback techniques. Find out more here.